Particle Horizon by Selso Xisto is an entertaining, highly detailed portrayal of wonders in a far off future where the lifestyle dependent on highly advanced technology and the prejudices of complete unquestioning faith in unseen gods collide in horrendous violence that could tear the very world apart for everyone that happens to get caught in the middle. The religious citizens of New Jerusalem see it as their duty to destroy the research coming out of the space-station research facility ‘Angelhaven’ before it can unleash powers that man was never meant to tinker with.
This story is wonderful in that you have the opportunity to watch developments from every possible viewpoint. When you might question why someone acts as they do, you are given their individual story presented so that you can almost believe in their cause. Even if that cause runs completely against the desires of the last character you just agreed with. The beautiful, imaginative descriptions bring to life very great or terrible aspect of the story. Visions of vast fields of grain being consumed by a terrible inferno inside of the concentric station clash with the exquisite picture of flight that children of zero-g practice without a thought.
I do have to admit that Dr. Baghdasarian is now one of my all-time favorite mad scientists. The man is ultimately responsible for cataclysm that occurs. He is financially responsible for much of Angelhaven and he’s had his hands into a bit of questionable genetic engineering. When the story takes place, he is busy using the mind of the genius daughter he built to unravel the base code for the universe itself. He figures that, if he can see the components of the laws of nature, what is stopping his working to perfect them?
There are several who have as much reason to fight for their beliefs with good reason. It does go a step further than old religious men being scared of science. In this future, most human settled worlds outside New Jerusalem are under the government of the Union of Free Worlds. Part of a peacekeeping agreement they have made law is to totally disallow any type of religion. Intelligent, reasonable people would rather side with those who shouldn’t just be dismissed as superstitious idiots than live where their faiths have been outlawed.
There is no solid ‘good’ or ‘bad.’